Shuttle arrives at Science Center

Oct. 14, 2012 at 6:03 PM
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LOS ANGELES, Oct. 14 (UPI) -- The Space Shuttle Endeavour arrived at the California Science Center Sunday after an agonizingly slow parade through Los Angeles city streets.

At a news conference, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said, "Mission 26 -- Mission Accomplished," after the shuttle finally arrived at its new Exposition Park home.

The mayor was referring to the shuttle's 25 space missions, and its parade across the city, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The 85-ton shuttle was delayed several times Sunday -- the second of its two-day, 12-mile journey to the center, the Times reported.

Those transporting the spacecraft, which is 78 feet wide and 122 feet long had to maneuver it through the streets of Los Angeles. They managed to not hit any buildings; however some trees were damaged in the process.

"Amazing they can control this machinery to control this huge spaceship -- how they can save the tree -- that was like inches," said Eleuterio Rojas of Leimert Park, moments after the shuttle's right wing cleared a tree.

The spacecraft began its road trip to the California Science Center from the Los Angeles International Airport Saturday afternoon with a goal of arriving at 9 p.m.

Despite meticulous planning that required 268 trees to be cut down, hundreds of power lines raised and 223 traffic lights moved, unexpected delays kept popping up, the Times reported.

One of them involved a hydraulic leak on wheels of one of the trailers holding the craft, the newspaper said.

Despite the delays, hundreds of onlookers lined the route, taking pictures and chanting "U.S.A." as late as 2 a.m. Sunday, the newspaper said.

Despite all of the wiggling and maneuvering through the streets, the craft hadn't taken a single scratch by Sunday morning, the newspaper said.

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